How to Solve Common Simulation Challenges

Simulation technology is a hot topic these days, and its popularity is only increasing. Why? Because simulation helps healthcare students and providers prepare for high stakes scenarios in a safe, low-risk environment. Simulation-enabled education and training ultimately improves provider performance and patient outcomes. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its share of unique frustrations. As more institutions incorporate simulation solutions into their training curriculums, more kinks appear that need to be worked out.


7 Common Simulation Challenges—and Their Solutions

Level 3 recently conducted a survey to identify the most common simulation challenges. Below are some of the frustrations, as well as advice from simulation experts on how to solve them.

1. Complicated policies and procedures. Simulations create data and recordings that must be stored and archived properly to avoid liability.

Solution: Creating an official policy for storage of simulation session videos, for example, can help mitigate any risks posed by storing information in the simulation lab itself. For example, all video could be forwarded to the appropriate faculty member and then deleted from the simulation lab server.

2. Exchanging information and following best practices. A lack of standardized training for simulation technology users means the exchange of lessons learned and best practices is critical—but it is also easier said than done.

Solution: Use social and professional networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn to create groups for simulation technology users.

3. Hiring and training qualified Sim Techs. The current lack of standardized training for simulation technicians can pose a challenge when you are trying to hire the most qualified person to round out your simulation team.

Solution: Focus on each individual’s capabilities rather than whether they have a specific degree. Writing a job description that matches the specific needs of your organization will also help you attract and hire the right person.

4. Adequately training staff. Allocating funds for simulation solutions isn’t money well spent if no one can operate the solution. In some cases, a lack of training and confidence may cause faculty to avoid using the solutions altogether.

Solution: In addition to setting aside money, time must also be set aside so staff members can be adequately trained and prepared to use simulation tools to their full potential.

5. Developing relevant scenarios. Having access to simulation technology can enhance the learning experience, but the capabilities of your technology shouldn’t dictate what is taught.

Solution: Educators need to identify their learning goals independent of the simulation tool and then leverage simulation technology to achieve them.

6.Improving access and connectivity. Spotty wireless connectivity in a simulation lab can be frustrating to educators, especially if they only use the simulation system once or twice a semester.

Solution: Hardwiring all the components in the lab can resolve this issue. VPN, conference calling, and remote access software can help provide remote access to scenarios, recordings, and debriefings.

7. Knowing when simulation isn’t the best solution. Manikin-based simulations are convenient and popular, but they might not be the best tool for every training scenario. Even the most thorough, thought-out simulation can’t account for everything a real patient might do.

Solution: Use all the training tools and methods available to you for the most comprehensive, realistic training experience.


Next Steps

Want more details about solutions to your simulation challenges and concerns? Level 3 recently hosted a webinar where our simulation experts addressed your most common frustrations and provided informed advice to resolve them. Download the webinar recording to learn more. (Password: Level3HC)